Thursday Apr 24, 2008

Web 2.0ey Googley mashuppy serendipityiousness 3.0

I had a quick play with Google Earth today and typed in 'sweihan' for fun, Sweihan being an area we've done two trips to recently.

Sweihan duly appeared and I noticed that someone had associated a video with the location in Google Earth. Clicking launched a YouTube video - looking closely I recognised a stylish and particularly well driven Jeep Wrangler. Mine! It turned out that the video had been taken by Dimitry, who'd been on the first trip we'd done and had posted a short video onto YouTube. Cool!

Here's the vid -

Thursday Apr 10, 2008

One lady owner/goodbye Vitara

We bade farewell to Mrs Saul's Vitara today.

Bought four years ago for ten thousand dirhams (2,721USD) we sold it today for ten thousand dirhams.

Japanese reliability, regular servicing and inflation make for a pretty good return on investment for us and a good price for the buyer, in my opinion.

I advertised it (for free) in the Gulf News and got over forty calls over the two days it was in the paper. Over the last two days, during which there was no advert in the paper, I have had twenty plus calls. According to our security guard, lots of people came to see it - we weren't in town early this week, but I gave callers the car's location by text message.

As per my last post, it seems to be a sellers' market here and we've benefited from that.

It was sold to a local gentleman who will use it for weekend desert driving after he converts it to an automatic. Based on what we see when we go offroad, this means two local chaps driving along at insane angles, engine screaming, whilst Westerners stare in amazement as the laws of physics are defied and I am made to feel that I could actually push the Wrangler much harder than I think I can.

Although Mrs Saul only drove it offroad once, it's more than capable of spending its weekends in the dunes - unlike the current Vitara and its colleagues, it's an offroad capapble vehicle that can actually go offroad. Today's Land Cruisers, Pathfinders and Vitaras aren't vehicles you can take offroad without removing copious amounts of plastic first, but who cares - the people that buy them never use them for that. Mrs Saul's model has a better approach and departure angle than my Wrangler, is lighter and doubtless more reliable too, as well as looking pretty good.

Transferring ownership was very smooth, thanks to the RTA's efficient processes.

More details of the selling experience and Mrs Saul's new car in a future post!

Friday Dec 21, 2007

Decent offroading at last

We've finally got around to doing a couple of great off road trips.

First off was a trip to 'Area 53', a couple of weeks ago. Two Wranglers and a long wheel base Pajero...

Early on in the trip Rupert fell victim to technology thinking it knows better. His Pajero was in Drive, rather than locked in second or third, so it decided to change up a gear just at the wrong moment, leaving Rupert stranded rather precariously.

I raced up to secure the back of the Pajero, so that he'd be anchored when trying to turn down, should he start to roll. Unfortunately I misjudged things and got stuck myself.

Once Simon had pulled me back out, I attached my rope to the Pajero and Rupert inched back down without any problems. Still, better safe then sorry.

No major stucks for the rest of the day - just enjoying some very big, sweeping dunes.

Last week we went to Sweihan with my new colleague, Gerard. Even bigger dunes, plus the fact that we were following rather than leading, meant a super day's driving. Brilliant fun, particularly in one huge bowl that saw me driving round and round in fifth gear and low range, in order to keep momentum up and revs down. Incredible stuff. No photos though - we were having so much fun Mrs Saul forgot to take any.

Full set of the Area 53 pics here.

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